The development towards abstract expressionism
The turn towards abstraction came through looking and feeling. Raphael Rack is fascinated by the interplay of color, light and dynamics - as he saw it in the streets of New York City. “Architecture and a mixture of many styles close together, that inspires me. But I wanted to portray emotions at the same time,” he says. This was the only way he could also capture human reactions to world events. He succeeded in doing this with virtuosity in the “War” series on the occasion of the Russian war against Ukraine in 2022. Here, luminous reds breaks through greens and turquoises like tears.
Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko and their attack on color are an incentive and challenge for Raphael Rack. To find further stimuli, he looked around in Asian art and discovered the Korean-American artist Young-Il Ahn, who was inspired by natural phenomena such as fog or water. Along with color and light, nature has become an important protagonist in Raphael Rack's paintings. Raphael Rack dedicated a large format painting to Claude Monet, the painter who led Impressionism into abstraction, with "C. Monet" 2019. Raphael Rack also has great admiration for the carpets of modern designers. Raphael Rack is constantly expanding his color palette and working on the complexity of his paintings in a multi-layered manner. World events are also increasingly incorporated - and his paintings themselves seem like carpets, a colorful fabric woven from soul and time.
Complexity as a concern
Right from the start, Raphael Rack used oil paints, which dry slowly but have a great radiance. He usually works with large formats, applies layers and uses the spatula. He repeatedly applies paint, lets it dry, goes over it again, and scrapes areas free again. What emerges underneath is breathtaking. Thus, unique color compositions are created with a special haptic of the image surface made of almost 100 layers, which are reminiscent of cracking birch bark.In this way he reaches a depth that the eye can no longer let go of. "My paintings are not meant to be interpretable. I have a plan and know the steps, but in the end my pictures are so dense that they allow many points of view," says Raphael Rack. He wants viewers to discover something new in a painting even after a long time. Collectors say that his works take you on a journey through life.